Loud Poets – Scottish Storytelling Centre

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Digital theatre has presented itself as a suitable alternative to the in-person performance. Streaming cinema has long been an acceptable option. But there’s something about live spoken word: a distinctiveness that digital shows haven’t quite been able to capture. Perhaps it’s down to misery loving company? Thankfully, in-person spoken word is back.

Edinburgh-based collective Loud Poets celebrate a growing passion for spoken word across the UK, and this event sees them back in their natural habitat in The Scottish Storytelling Centre. From the more sombre reflections from Paul Case to the explosive enthusiasm of Mark Gallie, there’s something for everyone here, newcomers and established fans alike.

It can be difficult to review poetry shows – how does one measure the worth of work that is so inarguably personal? From a skillset perspective, there’s a vast array of poetic talent here, from the use of imagery to the mastering of syntax and arrangement. There’s also an additional element of comedy, almost stand-up in the interim between poetry sessions, where our host and the poets bicker and chat and encourage communication from the audience. Props to the lighting and audio-balancing too – the inclusion of minor effects to enhance and focus audience attention on the respective speakers is an appreciated touch. 

This is what Edinburgh has been missing – an accepting space for everyone that broadens the reach of spoken word and allows for an approachable entrance into the artform.

Review published for The Skinny

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